Aiken Standard (Newspaper) - February 23, 1989, Aiken, South Carolina
'Don't Worry, Be Happy'
A Quick Read
Dozens Arrested In Cocaine Ring
LOS ANGELES (AP) - U.S. authorities raided the downtown jewelry market and arrested at least 37 people nationwide in an effort to smash a $1 billion cocaine money-laundering ring allegedly run by a Syrian national.
The surveillance investigation, which lasted for more than a year, was the biggest of its kind undertaken by the government, Attorney General Dick Thornburgh and Treasury Secretary Nicholas Brady said in a statement released Wednesday.
During the past two years, the illegal network processed at least $1 billion through jewelry merchants in Los Angeles, Texas, Florida and New York, authorities said.
U.S. Debt Growing At $8,000 A Second
NEW YORK (AP) - The U.S. government is going into hock faster than the eye can follow A new digital readout unveiled by a real estate developer shows the national debt jumping by $8,000 a second, a rate that made the last four numbers a blur.
Below the main number that depicted the spiraling $2.7 trillion national debt on a building in midtown Manhattan was a second figure tracking each American family’s share of the indebtedness — over $41,000, and growing.
The readout, dubbed The National Debt Clock, was unveiled Wednesday by Seymour B. Durst, a real estate developer who has been campaigning publicly against governmental debt for a decade.
Durst, 75, started warning about the debt by sending a New Year’s card to government and business leaders in 1980.Weather
Very Cold Tonight
Cloudy skies and very cold weather is forecast tonight with a low near 15. Winds will be 10-15 mph and gusty with wind chills near 0 and below. Snow flurries are possible. Cloudy skies are forecast Friday with a high in the upper 30s. Winds will be 10-20 mph and gusty.
Please see details on Page 6A.Deaths
James O. Baker, Edgefield Phillip A. Brown, West Columbia John B. Bush, Johnston Albert K. Dean, Graniteville James L. Gunter Jr., Aiken Sarah M. Harrison, Edgefield Frances S. Metts, Augusta Mary M. Ritchie, Clemson George Walker, Aiken Please see details on Page 6A.Inside Today
Thursday, February 23, 1989
Aiken, South Carolina
Vol. 122 No. 47
Let It Snow, Let It Snow
Aiken, Edgefield Students Sent Home
By NINA J. NIDIFFER And CARL LANGLEY Staff Writers
Aiken County school officials dismissed all the county’s schools at ll a.m. today in an effort to get students home before falling snow could turn to ice and create hazardous driving conditions.
With the snowfall picking up momentum shortly after 9 a.m., the administration decided not to take any chances that a sudden drop in temperature could turn roads and streets into sheets of ice.
“The decision (to close) was made in Dr. Brooks’ office about 9:25,” said a
spokesman at the educational center.
Regular schedules are expected to resume Friday barring any weather-related complications.
Shortly before the Aiken closing was announced, Edgefield County authorities had sent students home. The snowfall appeared to be heavier in that area than around Aiken.
About an hour before the Aiken schools closed for the day, officials indicated they were proceeding with plans for normal sessions because the snow was not building up and was melting almost as fast as it fell.
“We were all in session,” said Karen B. Sides, a secretary for Aiken County School’s district office. “I’m sure the kids were wanting it to come down heavier. They always do.”
High school and elementary students wanting a heavy snowfall got their wish about an hour after classes started. The
snow was said to be widespread throughout the midlands area of the state and into the Piedmont.
College students were even more enthusiastic about the unusual weather. Radio stations received prank calls saying USC Aiken was closed for the day, but a university spokesperson said no official at the university made the calls.
“We are open,” she said.
The “let it snow” sentiment of students was not shared by peach growers in Edgefield and Johnston, where cold, wet flakes were drifting down through peach blossoms this morning. There, a wait-and-see attitude prevailed.
County extension agent Anthony (Tony) Watson said that some peach trees are in bloom, and those are certainly vulnerable, but other varieties are safer because they have not bloomed yet.
(See LET, Page 10A)
Today: A 30 percent chance of snow flurries may extend into the night. Highs in mid-30s, lows in 20s.
Friday: Temperatures as low as 19 degrees in the morning; the high in 30s. Saturday: Sunny and warmer with a high in the 40s and a low in the 30s.
New Seed Store
U.S. Hostages Threatened
Staff Photo By Ginny Southworth
TRADITIONAL SURROUNDINGS: J. Wayne Hilton and Bobbie P. Hilton display some of the company’s old catalogues as they stand in the new seed store, which is furnished with antiques. Please see story on Page 1B.
By The Associated Press
BEIRUT, Lebanon — Pro-Iranian captors of three American educators today threatened to take
revenge against Salman Rushdie, the publishers of his novel “The Satanic Verses” and their supporters for insulting Islam.
Islamic Jihad for the Liberation of Palestine said in a hand-written statement that it would “take revenge against all those who took part in strong and ferocious campaigns against Islam.”
It said the revenge would cover “all institutions and organizations that insulted in one way or another” members of prophet Mohammed’s family, meaning Moslems.
European governments have recalled their ambassadors from Iran to protest Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s decree last week that Moslems seek out and kill Rushdie and his publishers because “The
Satanic Verses” blasphemes Islam.
Authors have led demonstrations of outrage at the threat from Iran’s fundamentalist patriarch, who has refused to accept Rushdie’s apology, and President Bush has called the threat an insult to the civilized world.
Rushdie, a naturalized Briton who was born a Moslem in India, is in hiding with vis wife in Britain and reportedly under police guard. Iranian clerics have offered $5.2 million for Rushdie’s murder.
Jihad’s Arabic-language statement was delivered to the office of a Western news agency in Moslem west Beirut accompanied by an instant photograph of American hostages Alann Steen, Robert Pol-hill and Jesse Turner.
The three were kidnapped Jan. 24, 1987, from the campus of the
(See U.S., Page 10A)
Bush Arrives In Japan, Begins Search For Peace
By The Associated Press
TOKYO — President Bush arrived in Japan today and immediately plunged into a series of mini-summits with world leaders. Against the backdrop of an imperial Japanese funeral, he began his personal search for an elusive peace settlement in the Middle East.
After a 16-hour flight from Washington, Bush went directly to the U.S. ambassador’s residence for lunch with French President Francois Mitterrand and talks that White House officials said focused on East-West relations, Central America, the global environment and plans for a
seven-nation economic summit in Paris in July.
Bush and Mitterrand expressed interest in pursuing peace in the Middle East and “exploring whatever options might be out there,” said White House press secretary Marlin Fitzwater.
The spokesman affirmed Bush’s earlier statement that the Soviet Union should play only a secondary role in the Middle East.
Bush’s appointment list today also included talks with three Middle East leaders: Jordan’s King Hussein, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Israeli President Chaim Herzog.
White House officials said in advance that no decisions were expected at any of the sessions lasting 15 or 20 minutes each, and that the talks would not deal extensively with substance, but they represented the start of Bush’s personal diplomacy on the volatile Middle East as president.
“Although we think there are some opportunities to move the process forward, we want to be methodical and deliberate,” Fitzwater said.
Asked to elaborate, Fitzwater replied, “I can’t be specific simply because we don’t want to talk about any opportunities
that might be there. Things move slowly in the Middle East.”
However, he said there was “a changed situation” because of U.S. discussions with the Palestine Liberation Organization and recent statements by PLO chairman Yasser Arafat, who has publicly disavowed terrorism.
On his first overseas journey as president, Bush will attend the funeral Friday of Japanese Emperor Hirohito, who died of cancer Jan. 7 at the age of 87.
Bush will travel to China on Saturday and make a 4Vz hour stop in South Korea on Monday before returning home.
$108 Million Earmarked For Restart Of Reactors
By The Associated Press
WASHINGTON - Department of Energy officials say the federal agency has earmarked $108 million to restart the Savannah River Plant reactors.
“The improvements needed within the defense complex are critical. Because of the urgent need to restart these reactors, the department is proceeding to take corrective actions,” the DOE says in a letter released Wednesday by Sen. Strom Thurmond, R-S.C. The letter was obtained by the Washington bureau of the (Charleston ) News & Courier.
Donna Fitzpatrick, the DOE acting secretary, signed the Feb. 16 letter to the Senate Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development.
DOE spokesman Will Callicott says there’s still no firm date for restarting a SRP reactor, and there probably won’t be until March or April.
“These funds are what’s needed to get the job done,” Callicott said.
Watkins Near Approval..............Page 10A
Ahearne Testimony.....................Page 1B
Friends Of SRP...........................Page 1B
Verenes Takes PR Job................Page 2B
The SRP reactors are the nation’s only source of tritium, a radioactive gas that is an essential component of nuclear weapons. Tritium decays rapidly and must be replaced frequently.
The funds are needed to implement the department’s accelerated safety initiatives necessary for reactor restart. About $90 million is for operating costs and the rest is for construction, the department says.
Meanwhile, a department adviser told Congress on Wednesday that DOE cannot complete a major analysis of its three idled tritium production reactors at Savannah River before the first one is ready to be restarted.
(See $108 MILLION, Page 10A)
K-Reactor Cooling Tower Plans May Be Reconsidered
By BRAD SWOPE Staff Writer
Federal officials may propose scrapping plans to build a water cooling tower at the Savannah River Plant’s K-Reactor, and redirecting its $140 million allotment to other environmental work, Aiken’s congressman says.
Such a move would require that Congress exempt the aging reactor from the federal Clean Water Act “as far as the tower is concerned,” said U.S. Rep. Butler Derrick, D-S.C.
The idea drew criticism Wednesday from representatives of state agencies and environmental groups — both of whom would have to approve the plan for it to go through, Rep. Derrick said.
The tower, an outgrowth of a 1984 state-federal agreement, would serve to cool down reactor process water that for years has entered tributaries
of the Savannah River at 170 degrees Fahrenheit.
Environmental laws set a maximum discharge temperature of 90 degrees.
“K” and SRP’s two other 1950s-era production reactors, all idled for management and equipment upgrades, are targeted for replacement about the year 2000.
Given the reactors’ fixed life span, some officials reason that the projected $140 million needed to build the tower would be better distributed among 30 to 40 items on a Department of Energy list of proposed cleanup projects, Rep. Derrick said on Wednesday.
“I think there are some people who feel that the money could be better spent, environmentally, in other ways,” he said.
The congressman didn’t specify what was on the list, but cleaning up
(See K-REACTOR, Page 10A)